Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Some Thoughts For Today

As I was taking a shower today I was thinking about various things, and a thought came to me from something I'd heard on the radio a few days ago. I wanted to preserve this thought when it came back to me, so here it is. I don't really remember what I was listening to the other day (probably NPR), but a man was quoting from Primo Levi, the famous author and concentration camp survivor, who had said something with regard to himself and the other camp survivors, that went something like this; "We were not the best, we survivors. The best perished in the camps. Those who survived were the collaborators, the liars, the betrayers, the cheats. We are the ones who survived, while the best amongst us died there". This is not a direct quote, it's an approximation from my memory. I'm going to look into this, though, to find the exact, word for word quote. It's very relevant of human nature in total, not just of those who survived the camps, and I'm sure that is how Levi meant it. It sruck me as a very profound insight into the human condition, something I did not want to forget.

I've also been having the thought lately that it is 1933 in this country. It is the beginning. We are being told that up is down, black is white, the enemy is everywhere and nowhere all at once, and that we must prepare the homeland for endless war. Where have we heard such things before? Since when did this country become the "homeland"? Prior to 2001, this word was never used to refer to our nation. This word rings of other, more sinister words, words like "fatherland". In 1933 in another country, people were in a similar environment; nothing really bad had happpened, yet. They were like the proverbial frog in the pot of lukewarm water, feeling nothing as the temperature was slowly, but surely, being increased from under them, until they were being boiled away before they knew what was happening. Are we that same frog in the water in 2004? Now is the time to stand up, to expose, to uncover, to be courageous; so that 1933 does not turn into 1943 or 1944. By then, it will have been too late. Let us defeat fascism again, as my uncles did, and your uncles did, and aunts, and fathers amd mothers and sons and daughters, did. When you see fascism in action, expose it and challenge it, wherever you are. Don't be afraid to call it what it is, fascism. Others would not do so once, and they eventually perished. Don't let it go so far this time.


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